A small, quick, monoprint capturing a moment. Surprised in the act, maybe... I have just been in Venice looking at Tracey Emin and Tintoretto. As well as the sheer bravura and emotional power of the works there is something so exciting about seeing almost the whole output of an artist whose work is mainly in his home town of Venice and fixed in its various locations... as for Tracey Emin her UK pavillion at the Biennale was very moving. She included a large series of very "less-is-more" little monoprints in blue on pages torn from notebooks. Exactly the technique I am using in this picture from 2005 which is based on a scribble by Gericault who made some life sketches very like this, presumably in a brothel, unless he had some very adventurous models. As with the ink drawing I posted a few days ago the man is like a convict hiding from the tv cameras, wanting to repel the artist, maybe fearing identification - "remove that sketch book, this is private..." a bientot Jane
Tomorrow, that poisoner, Jane Walker 2004. Oil on canvas 50 x 60 cms.
An airoplane is flying towards them,
Shut their eyes
Show instead how those insolent tulips
Unfurl new magic every time,
Keeping at bay
A composition that I interpreted several times but only this time with that poem. And only this time with Tulips whereas usually where you see tulips there have been candles. Tulips..... the Turkish symbol of perfect love... and a powerful image in Holland too - so another of my transitional objects? Flowers.... The quotation from the poem is mine and the reference to 9/11 disturbing but beyond my control. Survivor problems... All the grey paint is a layer of emotion laid down in seconds. I hope it comes over...
One of my ink drawings from about a year ago made very quickly from imagination but in oblique ways containing references to some erotic drawings I sketched from a book belonging to friends in India.. these were attributed to Gericault and thought to have been drawn from life. This composition is in a similar vein but is my own - apart from one borrowing from Gericault which is the gesture of the outstretched hand of the man, seeming to say to the artist "leave us, this is private.."
This was the day that Henriette turned up in a red bandana to set off her extraordinary highly-piled hair. And, funnily enough, I was wearing one too,which you can see tumbling down over my shoulder as I am reflected in the act of forging the model on to my memory. (A couple of weeks ago: chalk on paper 40 x 50) . I exhibited and sold it at the weekend so its time to hang it in my virtual exhibition as well....
One of my earliest drawings from the Rijswijk studio, (58 x 74 cms chalk pastel on paper) a litttle over a year ago .. i was fascinated by all the paraphenalia on the table in the foreground which is nowadays usually occupied by Alberto's painting materials so i don't have it in my frame. Frits though, is always right there, in front of the table, making an oil portrait in the second half of the session., where I captured him in this drawing. I am not reflected this time - it is a third-party artist model relationship .. Frits looking intently at Henriette. It belongs to that time when I was first so captivated by the immensity of the studio space and way it is bathed in light. a bientot Jane
Djoa: (68 x 83 cms. Chalk pastel on paper) This is one of the pastel drawings I exhibited in my open studio on Friday. Djoa falls into poses of such ecstatic abandonment. Alberto enhanced the sensuality by placing it in a pale pink passe-partout and quite a large frame. Felix, the purchaser, was really unsure about that but I really think it worked with the golden yellow in an audacious way. Sometimes these sketches of a few minutes can take on an almost monumental quality - it comes from having a very good model.
My Open Studio was last night and this image comes from preparing the installation I made about the role of life studies in our work. We don't usually exhibit this kind of work but it has some value and I think occasionally we should - if we can find a good way to achieve it. Meanwhile I also exhibited about 55 framed paintings in my studio and along the corridors... it was great to have nearly 100 people come and share the work and enjoy an atmosphere that they created. Jan-Willems brought me a huge bunch of slightly tinged pale pink roses so they will be the subject of the next rose painting.. not that the human figure will be abandoned as the next two posts will show.
Something I made in the last twelve minutes of a model session a couple of years ago - with a great model called Pambos - (see side panel photo) I guess it is about A2 size with charcoal and white chalk. For my Open Studio this weekend I am wallpapering a room with drawings like this .. it is a big room and a lot of work - but the drawings are not lacking - in fact I could probably manage several of these rooms before i run out of them - I think I would like to show how we artists have our scales and arpeggios and limbering up too - and need to keep in practise like musicians and gymnasts.
The woman is clasping the man tightly as if for the last time. The sense of place is pretty much absent - not even my usual shutters - but the space is interesting. It is one of the first works I made when I came to the Netherlands and it will be in my exhibition next week along with its companions from the same "red/blue" series. (A4 oil pastels on paper 2007 ) Really I must think of a better series title before that!
A mediaeval quality to this one I think, but then, the red interior that I had in my mind is a shuttered room in an old city within a medallion of fifteenth century Venetian walls. It is a composition I keep returning to (30 x 40 oil on canvas 2006) and the greek writing built into the texture of the background is a Cavafy poem that tells how in old age one could light a candle to create an atmosphere for the spirits of love to arrive....bearing images from our past sensual experiences.......
These flowers are still alive and I am still enjoying them. (40 x 30cms, oil on canvas). I told the friend who gave them to me that I longed to paint them. It is a total departure from my usual subject .. but yes, that is the point - it may indeed become a total departure from my usual subject. Since I have a whole exhibition to mount right now, and I just feel I want to run away, I have eloped with a subject that has a virginal quality for me - there is so much deflowering of these flowers for me to do. When I see a human figure I think I should know by now where to start ... but with roses I know I have everything to learn. There is one picture by Morandi and one picture by Asik Mene that I keep in my mind. Otherwise only the flowers themselves can teach me. From time to time you are going to find out what they imparted. a bientot Jane
Such an indolent creature! Unlike in the previous post, this very quick study is pretty big - 100 x 130cms, I think - and in chalk on heavy brown paper. When I have my open studio in ten days time I am going to take the opportunity to show some of these studies that are just our scales and arpeggios but have value despite never ending up behind glass .. sometimes I feel the weight of those burgeoning portfolios and want to let them out as envoys from that region of our process... a bientot Jane
An ex BBC TV and radio classical music producer I retrained in fine arts in Brussels after marrying a diplomat and going to live in different countries abroad. I have two school age children and a much loved second home in France. My family and friends are very spread out so the internet is very important. Creative life is often compromised but absolutely vital. A reluctant gypsy I am alarmed to find artistic concepts are not as portable as I once thought. The universality of the human figure (my subject) is not helpful enough in the constant conflict of who I am and where I am.